Last will inspire work about conservation and change!
‘Last’ tells the story of a rhino, trapped in a zoo in the middle of the city. Aware he is alone and the last of his kind, he dwells on memories of long ago, when he lived in a different place and was not alone. He shares his prison with other creatures who are pining for freedom. One day, he is released and returned to the wild, leaving a glimmer of hope that he is perhaps not the last after all.
Inspired by the story of a rhino named Sudan, ‘Last’ is an incredibly poignant book. Sudan was the last male Northern White Rhino who was captured, aged 2, and taken to a zoo in the Czech Republic, in an attempt to save the species. Although he was released back into the wild in 2009 with two other rhinos, he died in March 2018, the very last male Northern White rhino. Although she does not shy away from the realities of the situation and man’s culpability, Nicola Davies uses her tale to offer a note of hope that action can be taken and these wonderful creatures can have a future.
The text is relatively sparse, allowing the illustrations to speak volumes. Colour is used to contrast the vibrant warmth of his homeland with the cold greys and blacks of the city and its zoo. Text in many languages is used on the buildings and animals in some pictures and Nicola explains her reasons for doing this is a note at the beginning of the book. Thought provoking and relevant, this is a text that can be used with all ages in school, starting discussions and inspiring work about conservation and change. When Tiny Owl say that they are ‘committed to producing beautiful, original books for children’, they really deliver!
‘Last: The Story of a White Rhino’ is a very moving and inspirational story.
- Hurrah! Last is featured in the Guardian’s round-up of the best new children’s books!
- Watch: Nicola Davies answers your burning questions about Last!
- Watch: Nicola Davies introduces her illustrative debut ahead of launch!
- Download: Discover Last teacher resources!
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